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N. Korea bristles at U.N. human rights expert

North Korea 08:55 January 21, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Monday blasted a United Nations envoy for taking issue with the human rights situation in the North, saying that such an act prompts confrontation and runs counter to the current peace mood on the Korean Peninsula.

The Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, aimed the criticism at Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. human rights rapporteur on the communist nation, who recently visited South Korea to collect information on North Korea.

"(He) sticks his nose here and there and speaks loud about human rights in North Korea, preposterously taking issue with our republic and inciting confrontation between the North and the South by mentioning cooperation between the two Koreas and human rights together," the newspaper said in an article."

"It is a very inappropriate thing to give off chilly air of confrontation far separated from the current situations on the Korean Peninsula," it added.

The paper said that his work is in effect an anti-republic human rights plot aimed at hurting the reconciliatory and cooperative mood between the two Koreas, calling it a "foolish deed by an uninvited guest who stormed into a stranger's house."

In a press conference on Jan. 11, Quintana said that the North's dire human rights conditions should be included in agendas for future nuclear negotiations with the United States.

He also underlined the need to discuss how to enforce labor rules on North Korean workers in case they participate in future inter-Korean economic projects.

North Korea tends to bristle at outside criticism of its human rights situations, calling it a U.S.-led attempt to overthrow the regime.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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